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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Funsense
2005-03-29 09:08
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

  • The Toaster's National and American League picks for 2005 are up. Given how many unforseen variables come into play, this is just nonsense - but nonetheless fun nonsense, or as I like to call it, funsense.

    Tell the Pirates we'll see them in October...

  • Tyler Blezkinski of Athletics Nation penetrated the A's inner circle, to say the least, on his recent trip to Spring Training. Check out the coverage, including photos galore.

  • Last night, I caught a little of the game on AM 610 during my drive home. Rick Monday preached about Hee Seop Choi needing to become more aggressive at the plate. Monday acknowledged that Choi's ratio of 10 walks to four strikeouts was "great," but added that because Choi was being too selective, he was ending up in trouble in the count and having to swing at everything.

    I repeat: four strikeouts all of Spring Training.

    Choi then walked on a 3-2 pitch. Sure, when he does swing he's got to produce, but he's not exactly lost in a deep count. Even if Choi is not Barry Bonds or Ted Williams, those two prove that selectivity in and of itself isn't a sin.

  • Monday was on play-by-play, with A Martinez providing the commentary. Martinez sounded smooth in the little bit I heard.

  • Already knowing that Joel Guzman had homered in his first career exhibition game, I thought I was going to hear him hit a grand slam as well. But his deep fly ball with the bases loaded didn't quite make it out. (I'm going to ignore the fact that Guzman expected a full Spring Training invitation this year - when he told Steve Henson of the Times that "he wasn't sure why" he didn't get one, it seems obvious that the answer was not to throw too much at him too soon.)

  • Jeff Weaver approached 100 pitches Monday in his seven-inning outing against Washington. Lengthy starts by Derek Lowe on Opening Day and Weaver in Game 3 could really allow manager Jim Tracy to mix and match relievers during the intervening starts by Odalis Perez and (it appears now) Elmer Dessens. Be patient with Tracy if he makes a lot of pitching changes at the outset of the season.

  • The Diamondbacks entered Spring Training with a similar approach to their catcher slot as the Dodgers - intending to start one of two younger players (Chris Snyder or ex-Dodger Koyie Hill) while retaining a veteran (Kelly Stinnett) as a backup. But while the Dodgers will retain their relative oldtimer in Paul Bako, the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have decided to go all the way with youth, keep both Snyder and Hill, and shed Stinnett.

  • Former Dodger Paul Shuey is taking six more weeks to decide if he can complete his comeback from hip surgery. According to News-Herald.com in Ohio, Shuey's contract requires the Indians to release him on May 15 if they don't activate him on the major league roster. "If I'm not ready to pitch by then, that will be it. I'll go home," Shuey said.

  • Comments (71)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2005-03-29 09:58:39
    1.   Linkmeister
    For those of us who have geographically moved a lot in their lives, David Brooks (of all people) used his column today to discuss the switching of allegiances from old team to new. In his case that's from the Mets to the Nats. Kind of a fun read, since I've been in that boat myself.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/29/opinion/29brooks.html

    Use http://www.bugmenot.com to find a registration code, if needed.

    2005-03-29 10:29:19
    2.   Eric Enders
    "The Toaster's National and American League picks for 2005 are up. Given how many unforseen variables come into play, this is just nonsense."
    ---------

    Somebody has been listening to Rick Monday too much...

    Seriously, if an announcer is going to repeatedly rant about something all the time, why not make it something more meaningful than dad-gum preseason predictions?

    2005-03-29 10:32:07
    3.   Eric Enders
    "- when he told Steve Henson of the Times that "he wasn't sure why" he didn't get one, it seems obvious that the answer was..."

    I suspect the answer may consist entirely of two words: James Loney.

    Also, last I checked, Shuey was still inexplicably a Type-A free agent. I wonder if we get draft picks if he signs with somebody?

    2005-03-29 10:32:51
    4.   dzzrtRatt
    Growing up in the "tri-state area," I started out as a passionate Mets fan and a Yankee-hater. The lousy teams of their early years still produced a few heroes like Ron Hunt, Ed Kranepool and Ron Swoboda, and then when the good young pitchers all seemed to arrive at once, Seaver, Koosman, Nolan Ryan and Tug McGraw, it was very satisfying to see the Mets play tough. In those years, the Yankees were more of a joke than the Mets, with cruddy players like Horace Clarke, Jake Gibbs and Joe Pepitone.

    Although I'd left the east coast by 1969, the victory over Baltimore was mindblowing. I still remember Ross Porter, as a KNBC sports reporter, saying the Mets could not possibly beat the Orioles. I started to pay more attention to the Dodgers in the mid-70s, but they were my "other" team. During LA's great era from 1974-85, it was easy to be a fan of the exciting local team, while suffering alongside Mets fans for whom losing was not so loveable anymore. The arrival of Keith Hernandez and Kevin Mitchell made the Mets respectable again, and I remember the ecstasy of 1986, the tight series against Houston for the NL pennant, and the unbelievable comeback against Boston in game 6.

    But then came 1988, 20 years after I'd come to Los Angeles, when I had to choose sides in the NL playoffs. Painfully, but decisively, I chose the Dodgers, and have not looked back. And, as Brooks implies, this new Mets team is starting to look like the hated Yankees, a rich team that will lure talent with its cable goldmine. My love for the Dodgers has been tested many times since '88, but I think it's about to pay off, if not this year, then soon.

    2005-03-29 10:34:51
    5.   Eric Enders
    In re #1, I've never understood the whole concept of switching team allegiances when you move. It just seems like a really lame thing to do. I live in New York, and the two sports teams I follow on a life-and-death basis are located in L.A. and El Paso, respectively.
    2005-03-29 10:39:19
    6.   Eric Enders
    Great, now it looks like I'm calling dzzrtRat lame, which was not my intention.
    2005-03-29 10:42:06
    7.   Linkmeister
    I've never swerved from the Dodgers, but in football I switched from the Redskins (I lived in NoVa in the Sixties) to the 49ers during the Montana-Rice era; living 5500 miles from the East Coast made the Skins too far away to think about attending a game, but the Niners? That's possible.
    2005-03-29 10:43:06
    8.   Eric Enders
    It also occurs to me that if I had moved to a location where both local teams weren't messengers of Satan, I might have been more inclined to begin following them. But that would certainly have been in addition to the Dodgers, not instead of.
    2005-03-29 11:26:45
    9.   Icaros
    Choi has just hit a 3-1 pitch over the CF fence, according to a post on Dodgers.com.

    Suffering Bruin will be happy about that.

    2005-03-29 11:28:36
    10.   Jonathan
    Leading off the fifth with righty Daniel Cabrera pitching, Choi just hit what sounded like, from Rick Monday and Al Downing, a monster home run.

    Did anyone else think A. Martinez actually did a really good job yesterday?

    2005-03-29 11:29:35
    11.   Jonathan
    I second that homer!
    2005-03-29 11:39:26
    12.   Eric Enders
    But he has holes in his swing! Holes, I tell you!

    I'm not listening to the game right now because I'm waiting for WFUV to play the newly released Springsteen song, which they promised to do an hour ago. Enough waiting, I'm switching it to the darned game...

    2005-03-29 11:41:22
    13.   Colorado Blue
    I credit MLBEI for my continued allegiance to the Dodgers. I grew up in the SFV and went to many Dodger games in the 70's. Even made a WS game in '73 (it was '73 against the A's, right?)

    I moved to Albuquerque in the early 80's and began following the Dukes to a certain degree. But, I was really more interested in the Big Club... it was difficult to keep an active interest in the Dodgers without much day-to-day news or action.

    Aaaahhhhh, then came 1996 and DirecTV into my living room. I have had MLBEI every season since and was thrilled to be able to follow my beloved Dodgers.

    So I moved to Denver in 2003 and continued with MLBEI. The additional bonus was that I made 3 "Dodger" games live last year at Coors Field.

    Now, this year the Rockies will be interesting club to follow, and without MLBEI to really keep in the Dodger fold I probably would have a new favorite team. Or, at least, a team that would be easier to live-and-breath on a daily basis.

    Anyway, my point is that I could just as easily have converted from a Dodgers fan to a Rockies fan. Technological advancements have provided me the opportunity to remain a loyal Dodger fan... not sure it would have been so easy to have changed to another Major League city 15 - 20 years ago and kept my allegiance.

    2005-03-29 11:42:40
    14.   Icaros
    I haven't heard him do play-by-play yet, but I've always liked A. Martinez, despite the soap opera name.

    I thought he made Dodger Talk light years better when he joined Ross a couple years back. He at least takes the time to find out the whole story and is open to new ideas and theories, unlike most of his LA media cohorts.

    However, Dodger Talk was basically unlistenable when A. went solo last year, but that seemed to stem more from the fact that the callers were mostly beyond ignorant. Seriously, I'm surpised most of those people could remember how to breathe.

    The job of call screener should not be overlooked. There's another guy who did Dodger Talk last year (can't remember his name); for some reason, his show was much better, and his callers seemed a lot less drunk on either alcohol or stupidity.

    2005-03-29 11:48:08
    15.   Eric Enders
    I also owe a great debt to Extra Innings and Gameday Audio. I can't say it's saved my Dodger fandom, which was never in danger -- but it's made being a Dodger fan a much more pleasurable experience. For five years (1997-01) I went without my Vinny fix, and it was a real bummer.

    The days of having to wait 2 days to find out the Dodger score (since all West Coast games are "late games" in newspapers here) are over. God bless technology.

    2005-03-29 11:54:01
    16.   molokai
    Matt Riley is out of options and the word is that he won't make the Orioles team. I think he'd make a decent gamble by the Dodgers. Thank goodness Venafro may have pitched his last inning in a Dodger uniform. Rather have Riley on the roster then DJ Houlton.
    2005-03-29 11:54:41
    17.   Bob Timmermann
    Granted Steve Phillips has said much of the same on ESPN already, but does he come across a tad bitter in today's LAT Morning Briefing:

    "Of Dodger General Manager Paul DePodesta, Phillips said, "He is always the smartest guy in any conversation he has. In that part, we all agree."

    But Phillips doesn't believe DePodesta was able to improve the Dodgers during the off-season.

    "The pitching is not the same, the defense is not the same, so what they needed was to improve the offense," Phillips said. "But it's not obvious that they did that. I wouldn't be surprised if, at the end of the year, the Dodgers were a fourth-place team in their division."

    Phillips is picking the Mets to finish fourth in the National League East."

    I would probably find Paul DePodesta hard to get along with and I'm sure DePodesta always thinks he is the smartest guy in the room. (After all, he reads Ayn Rand, and that is a side effect of reading her work.)

    2005-03-29 11:59:56
    18.   Eric Enders
    Bob,
    I don't get that sense of self-importance, or whatever, from DePodesta. Quite the opposite, actually. In his public comments, at least, he is extremely humble and unassuming.

    But then again, his hero is Howard Roark, so...

    2005-03-29 12:07:49
    19.   Eric Enders
    So I guess Wunsch just cinched his roster spot, if he hadn't already.
    2005-03-29 12:09:33
    20.   Bob Timmermann
    Perhaps Steve Phillips suffers from low self-esteem.
    2005-03-29 12:12:49
    21.   Jeromy
    I agree with Eric. Wunsch strikes out the side and Steiner made it sound like he was making the Oriole hitters look foolish; whereas Venafro doesn't get anyone out and gives up three runs. I would say in the competition for situational lefty, Wunsch wins, game, set, match.
    2005-03-29 12:32:23
    22.   ElysianPark62
    Steve Phillips is not a bright bulb. He repeats the same things ad nauseum yet does not provide much insight into why he believes what he does. Re: the pitching being worse, I have yet to hear the reasoning behind his claim. Guess it's just the thing to say about the Dodgers, that they'll be worse, and leave it at that.

    Phillips (along with Buck Martinez) also claimed the Dodgers' bullpen would miss Shuey and Quantrill. Never mind the fact that those two have not pitched for LA in two years, and they were just dandy without them in 2004.

    Statements like that invalidate anything else that comes out of their traps.

    2005-03-29 12:33:30
    23.   Eric Enders
    Given that the gist of Phillips' comments was: "Paul DePodesta is the smartest guy in baseball, and I'm smarter than him," I kinda doubt Phillips has any low self-esteem issues.
    2005-03-29 12:39:28
    24.   Eric Enders
    Phillips was, frankly, one of the worst GMs in baseball history. Given that, and also given the real reason he was fired (hint: He has much in common with Shawn Kemp and Elijah Muhammad), he really has no business throwing stones at anyone.
    2005-03-29 13:12:27
    25.   Bob Timmermann
    Phillips to me just sounds somewhat jealous or envious that he is out of a job while younger guys like DePodesta get promoted.
    2005-03-29 13:25:37
    26.   Rick
    Jon -- how about some justification for that Pirate pick?
    2005-03-29 13:37:10
    27.   Eric Enders
    If you read the chat, he offered a justification -- a tornado will wipe out all the other teams except the Pirates.
    2005-03-29 13:37:43
    28.   Ben P
    Yeah, Phillips' comment about the Dodgers pitching being worse caught my eye, too. I can understand -- though I disagree with -- the argument about our defense and offense possibly being worse. But the ptiching? Because we replaced Lima with Lowe? Because Penny (fingers crossed) will be healthy? It's bizarre.
    2005-03-29 13:44:08
    29.   Eric Enders
    Maybe he doesn't like that we replaced G. Mota with a younger, cheaper, equally effective model.
    2005-03-29 13:47:40
    30.   Eric Enders
    By the way, going back to something Jon mentioned, Athletics Nation is a stunningly impressive site. If Blez had Jon's writing ability, I think that would be easily the best blog on the web. The quality and quantity of the content over there is amazing -- in the past month alone, he's had interviews with Oakland's GM, its best hitter, its best pitcher, and (arguably) its top 2 prospects.

    (Note: This is not to imply that Blez is a bad writer, just that Jon is a very good one.)

    2005-03-29 13:50:08
    31.   FirstMohican
    "I've never understood the whole concept of switching team allegiances when you move. It just seems like a really lame thing to do."

    The reason I root for a team is because in some small way, it represents your city. From how the fans impact the performance of the team, to how the owners and management operates the team, to the players from other cities or other countries giving back and building up the city, it seems to me that its about city pride.

    In a perfect world the team would say something about the city. The fans, by deciding to come to games, or criticize decisions, would help shape the direction of the team.

    If I move out of Los Angeles, I'll root for whichever team pays taxes to and helps contribute to the development of my new city - except the Giants. Of course, I'll still follow the Dodgers, and hope they do well.

    2005-03-29 13:54:32
    32.   The Saul
    My problem with this year's team is that I can't decide if they are built to win this year or in the future.
    The farm talent looks promising, but we are also tied up in contracts with aging and/or injury prone players who only have a couple years left in them. By default of the current state of the NL west, we are contenders to win the division, but beyond that things look murky, even if all our players are healthy. Some of you will argue that we have that "balance" of veteran and young players, but I am not so sure...

    Anyways...
    Who here has got opening day tickets?

    2005-03-29 13:59:47
    33.   FirstMohican
    What contracts are we tied up in? Driefort? It's his last year. Hundley's gone, Green's gone, Shuey's gone, etc.
    2005-03-29 14:06:53
    34.   Eric Enders
    "The farm talent looks promising, but we are also tied up in contracts with aging and/or injury prone players who only have a couple years left in them."

    I wish you'd expand on that statement, since Jeff Kent is the only current Dodger who even remotely meets those criteria. (Valentin does, too, I guess, but it's hard to argue a team is "tied up" in a one-year contract.)

    In fact, I'd say exactly the opposite is true of the Dodgers recently. Over the last 2 years, Evans and DePo dedicated the bulk of their efforts to RIDDING the team of those albatross contracts (Green, Brown, Encarnacion, Ishii, Brian Jordan, Nomo, Hundley, and soon Dreifort).

    2005-03-29 14:20:42
    35.   Jon Weisman
    Hi - just catching up - some great comments today.

    I think Tyler Blezinski and Rich Lederer have made the greatest strides in the past year with their sites. Their contact with people inside the game, while retaining their outsider perspective, shows us at the best of our abilities.

    Should I start making Dodger Thoughts T-shirts?

    2005-03-29 14:21:37
    36.   Jon Weisman
    Eric - I agree with your point in #34 - though I'd add Derek Lowe to the "tied up" list.
    2005-03-29 14:28:57
    37.   The Saul
    Hmm..
    Good point on the contracts. I guess its more of a "feel".
    What I should have said is that I can't tell if we are making a run this year or building more for future. Disregard the contracts statement (although I think it is valid to say that we have committed a lot to Drew, who has been injured a lot relative to healthy years)
    What I mean is that we have no players that we are building around. There is no "he's our franchise player for the next X years" player. You can't build around Kent (too old), Choi (inconsistent), Valentin. Nor can you say Werth or Bradley are the players to build around yet as they are not bona fide stars in the making. Drew is the closest thing but he's only had one star season. It also seems that everyone is trade bait so you just don't know whose gonna be around.

    Maybe I'm just in a pessimistic mood today.
    2005-03-29 14:34:57
    38.   Eric Enders
    Jon, I sort of agree about Lowe, but he doesn't really meet the stated criteria of being injury prone and having only a couple of years left.
    2005-03-29 14:42:53
    39.   Jon Weisman
    "What I should have said is that I can't tell if we are making a run this year or building more for future. "

    The Dodgers are doing both.

    "What I mean is that we have no players that we are building around."

    I'd say Drew qualifies - though I'm not sure I buy the premise. If you end up (not this year, but ultimately) with above-average players at every position, even without a superstar, isn't that good enough?

    "I sort of agree about Lowe, but he doesn't really meet the stated criteria of being injury prone and having only a couple of years left. "

    Not to be pessimistic myself, but I guess I'd just say that Lowe is signed for four years, and I'm not confident that he'll be on the mound and effective for all four. Of course, one question is, does Lowe get traded if he has a good 2005-06?

    2005-03-29 14:50:03
    40.   Icaros
    I don't know how important it is to follow the old "build around one or two players" notion in constructing a baseball team. It would seem more important in basketball, where less players contribute.

    What does it matter if Beltre is the best player one year, Drew the next 2-5 years, and Guzman for 3-5 years or so after that? Is it even a necessity to have a "star player?" What about a bunch of good players who get their specific jobs done?

    I think fans sometimes get too caught up in player-worship. I couldn't care less, personally, about buying a T-shirt that has Adrian Beltre or J.D. Drew's name and picture on it. I got over that phase in high school.

    There have been a lot of star players over the years who've sold a lot of merchandise and had their highlights on ESPN every night who've never won anything.

    2005-03-29 14:51:45
    41.   Icaros
    Thanks for stealing my thunder, Jon.

    Way to hog your own blog.

    2005-03-29 15:20:46
    42.   Jon Weisman
    Did the Springsteen song ever get played?
    2005-03-29 15:35:56
    43.   Eric Enders
    I don't know, Jon; I switched to the Dodger game.

    However, I did hear the song on AOL's "first listen" a couple of days ago, and it was pretty cool once you get past the fact that the song is interrupted every 30 seconds by an AOL audio stamp -- necessary to thwart the Kazaa users, I suppose.

    Musically, it resembles "Blood Brothers" a bit -- starts off low-key acoustic, and the instrumentation builds to a head, including a harmonica solo.

    Here are the lyrics:

    DEVILS AND DUST
    (B. Springsteen)

    I got my finger on the trigger
    But I don't know who to trust
    When I look into your eyes
    There's just devils and dust

    We're a long, long way from home, Bobbie
    Home's a long, long way from us
    I feel a dirty wind blowing
    Devils and dust

    I got God on my side
    I'm just trying to survive
    What if what you do to survive
    Kills the things you love
    Fear's a powerful thing
    It can turn your heart black you can trust
    It'll take your God filled soul
    And fill it with devils and dust

    Well I dreamed of you last night
    In a field of blood and stone
    The blood began to dry
    The smell began to rise

    Well I dreamed of you last night
    In a field of mud and bone
    Your blood began to dry
    The smell began to rise

    We've got God on our side
    We're just trying to survive
    What if what you do to survive
    Kills the things you love
    Fear's a powerful thing
    It'll turn your heart black you can trust
    It'll take your God filled soul
    Fill it with devils and dust

    Now every woman and every man
    They want to take a righteous stand
    Find the love that God wills
    And the faith that He commands

    I've got my finger on the trigger
    And tonight faith just ain't enough
    When I look inside my heart
    There's just devils and dust

    Well I've got God on my side
    And I'm just trying to survive
    What if what you do to survive
    Kills the things you love
    Fear's a dangerous thing
    It can turn your heart black you can trust
    It'll take your God filled soul
    Fill it with devils and dust

    It'll take your God filled soul
    Fill it with devils and dust

    2005-03-29 15:43:46
    44.   Jon Weisman
    Is Bobbie the same person as Bobby Jean, aka Miami Steve?

    I almost did a separate blog entry about this, but I'll just post it here. Never go too long without listening to "The River." "Out in the Street" came up on one of my old mix tapes and I nearly drove off the road, it sounded so good.

    2005-03-29 15:54:47
    45.   Jerry
    I don't think "Thunder Road" can be beat.
    2005-03-29 15:58:55
    46.   Eric Enders
    You mean the album The River, not the song, right? (Although really, you should never go too long without listening to either.)

    One of my favorite things about Springsteen is his androgynous names... it's hard to tell whether he's talking to/about a man or a woman, which is sometimes the point.

    - "Bobby Jean"
    - Terry from "Backstreets" (I remember getting involved in an epic argument on the Luckytown listserv about Terry's gender. She's a girl, of course.)
    - "Frankie"
    - "Sandy"

    2005-03-29 15:59:34
    47.   Eric Enders
    Re #45 -- All reasonable people agree that "Thunder Road" is the best song ever recorded.
    2005-03-29 16:01:31
    48.   chumsferd
    To be a hard core Dodger fan is to be an enlightened fan. I really believe that. I goto the supermarket almost every day and the past three times the cashier has noticed my dodger jacket and asked how I thought the team would do this year. I told them we would win the division and they were very skeptical.

    I think casual fans listen to Phillips, Hal Reynolds, and Kruk and take their opinions to heart. ESPN and the media wield such incredible influence it scares me. It still blows my mind that Depo and co. built a team that won the first playoff game in 16 years and both the local paper (LATimes) and the local sports talk radio station (KSPN) HATE the dodgers. I mean, it really DOES seem like the fountainhead.

    That being said, Howard Roark is no Jack Bauer (24). There's a man worth idolizing.

    2005-03-29 16:06:28
    49.   Jerry
    I am not the biggest Springsteen fan (born too late), but I try to spread the "Thunder Road" gospel when I can. The lyrics in particular are phenomenal.
    2005-03-29 16:16:15
    50.   ElysianPark62
    As for KSPN radio, it's the Angel station, of course, so they have to disrespect the Dodgers. (It is so ironic that one WS victory in 44 seasons of existence makes Angel fans so smug. They have a long way to go to erase the decades of embarrassment and second fiddledom.)

    Anyway, Mark McLemore, the latest ESPN talking head, claimed that a winning team MUST have a go-to guy, someone to carry the team, a star player. I don't really buy that, as some others here don't.

    I do think it's enough to have above-average guys at each position doing their jobs, and that is what DePodesta has meant about "spreading around the production."

    It sounds like management is crossing its fingers with this year's team and hoping for the best, but the focus is really on being a contender for years beyond.

    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2005-03-29 17:22:22
    51.   FirstMohican
    "the local paper (LATimes)... HATE[s] the dodgers."

    Yeah it seems that a combination of Plaschke and letters from "fans" really makes the LA Times seem like they're on a crusade against the Dodgers.

    For examples on Plaschke's Dodger hatred see any of his recent articles.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-letters26.1mar26,1,3713972.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-mlb-dodger

    Does anyone know who chooses the fan mail to publish? It seems like there can be no way that the ratio of Pro/Anti-Dodger letters is represented by letters published.

    2005-03-29 17:25:44
    52.   Eric Enders
    I doubt they really select only the most unfavorable letters; it's probably a representative cross-section of the letters they receive. They did, after all, print (in part) my anti-Plaschke, pro-DePo rant last year.

    Of course, the letters they get wouldn't be so angry if their coverage of the Dodgers wasn't so relentlessly downbeat.

    2005-03-29 17:31:15
    53.   Stu
    Being a bit of a Springsteen geek -- as Jon can attest to -- I don't think Thunder Road as graced as well in old age as other Bruce numbers. In concert especially, TR tends to sound creaky and out of date.

    From the Born to Run album, the title track, 10th Ave. Freezeout and She's the One hold up much bettter.

    2005-03-29 17:44:19
    54.   Eric Enders
    I agree with you about the in concert part, Stu. I could not disagree more strongly about the recorded version.
    2005-03-29 17:53:16
    55.   corey
    Howard Stern played about 30 seconds of that Springsteen song this morning. Apparently, he was allowed to play it 20 minutes before the rest of the country. I guess the record company was sucking up to Howard a bit. Anyway, he wound up singing his own version of the Springsteen song for the next few minutes. Good stuff!
    2005-03-29 18:04:20
    56.   corey
    Today I almost wish I was an A's fan. I am soooooooooo jealous of what's going on over at athleticsnation.com. What do we have to do to get Jon some access like that?!?
    2005-03-29 19:14:45
    57.   Jim Hitchcock
    The one bright spot about Lon Rosen? He hasn't added a damned mascot. Can we all agree, it's been downhill since Ted Giannoulas?
    2005-03-29 19:25:11
    58.   The Saul
    A bunch of jack-of-all-trades players is certainly a positive, but I think there has to be one star player to lead, motivate, and carry the team through the tough games.
    When I say star player though, I don't mean it has to be $100 million, 50 hr, 140 rbi guy. It just has to be a player who is solid throughout the year and yet can take it up a notch when his team needs him (Gibson in 88 of course is the greatest example of such a player).
    So I guess am not agreeing with some of you regarding the importance of a star player, but I am not exactly disagreeing either.

    Yes, I am aware that I sound like a politican.

    2005-03-29 19:34:07
    59.   chumsferd
    If JD Drew is healthy all year can he not be that star player?
    2005-03-29 19:46:29
    60.   Jim Hitchcock
    Well, it took outside motivation (in the form of Chipper Jones and others) to get him past that `I can't play unless I'm at 100%' last year.

    Judging by the Kent interview the other day, he's vying for the Kirk Gibson role.

    2005-03-29 19:53:04
    61.   brendan glynn
    56.  by corey

    "Today I almost wish I was an A's fan. I am soooooooooo jealous of what's going on over at athleticsnation.com. What do we have to do to get Jon some access like that?!?"

    Let me first say I disagree and I haven't been over to that site before today so this is just a flash opinion and could be totally wrong(they usually are). I like a little distance between the blogger/blog and the team. All I read was that almost everyone is a great guy and they liked his t-shirts. Is this guy now capable of questioning Billy Beane or maybe saying it should of been zito who was traded instead? I'm a dodger fanatic but I'm not a teenage girl about it. Give me Jon and these group of posters and I don't care if Depo and/or Dodger players ever speak with Dodger Thoughts
    Plus how do you not point out that Zito WAS WEARING THE SAME CLOTHES FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE. REALLY HIDEOUS CLOTHING. Had Zito slept at all or does he have horrible taste along with questionable grooming habits.
    Like I said first time i've ever read AN but it was a little too sugary for me. If I am wrong and mistaken I apologize(except for the zito clothes thing)

    P.S. Tyler of AN also wrote "....but Korach is just the best.  He's right up there with Vin Scully, in my humble opinion and he'll be respected as such one day when King and Scully retire." Korach's wife doesn't even think this.

    2005-03-29 19:55:32
    62.   brendan glynn
    But AN does look Great.
    2005-03-29 20:13:10
    63.   Jon Weisman
    Tenth Avenue Freeze Out truly comes alive in concert - though it was never my favorite song on the album.

    Thunder Road is a great song and I never get tired of it, though some concert versions are better than others.

    She's the One is and always will be awesome. A concert highlight was when it was paired with Ain't Got You.

    Born to Run is pristine, and I'll always remember the lights coming on as he launched into it at the first of his concerts that I attended.

    Backstreets is great, and I love when Patti harmonizes on the chorus.

    Meeting Across the River ages nicely, though I'll never forget a tortured rendition by some football player during an NFL talent show during a Super Bowl pregame.

    Night rocks in underrated fashion, kind of like a solid doubles hitter.

    But can we really have come this far in the conversation and not paid homage to the unbelievable, elegaic Jungleland???

    2005-03-29 20:17:56
    64.   Suffering Bruin
    First Mohican asked a question regarding the Times letters page.

    The answer is letters are chosen for how direct they are. Evidentiary arguments are frowned upon, usually for brevity's sake. In fact, almost all letters are editied, mostly for length.

    According to a friend that works there, there is a stated need to have the letters reflect the "average" fan. My friend claims it's another of way of saying that the letters should provide an echo chamber for conventional wisdom: McCourt is poor and is only in it for the land grab, he doesn't have any money, Depodesta is a computer geek... etc, ad nauseam.

    2005-03-29 20:28:38
    65.   Ben P
    I hesitate to veer off of "Springsteen Thoughts," but I don't think it's quite right to say the Times "hates" the Dodgers. I think the paper strongly dislikes the current incarnation of the team. The Times sees the Dodgers as a rare symbol of stability and tradition in a constantly changing city. Sort of like a romanticized, print version of a Tommy Lasorda speech. So DePodesta and all his upheaval -- i.e. losing the old-school LoDuca and the homegrown Beltre -- is just too much to take. Hopefully another division title this year will help change the Times' attitude.
    2005-03-29 20:34:20
    66.   Eric L
    brendan,

    Would any of us who haven't been around ballplayers on a day-to-day basis act any different than Blez at AN? I would have acted like a little girl too.

    2005-03-29 21:19:40
    67.   Eric Enders
    Eric L,
    I'd have to say the answer to your question in #66 is a qualified "yes." As great as Blez's recent coverage is, I agree with the criticism that it's a little sugary and not as professional as it could be. However, that's not a usual criticism I have of his site; it's only the entries he's posted in the last couple of days.

    When you first get the keys to the kingdom, it's hard to resist being giddy. I remember having to restrain myself from gushing when I interviewed Kirk Gibson. But if Blez continues to get this kind of access, I suspect the teenage-crush vibe will soon subside -- and his site will be the better for it.

    2005-03-29 21:20:06
    68.   popup
    Jon, regarding #35, I would vote for a Dodger Thoughts thinking cap instead of a t-shirt.
    2005-03-29 21:29:53
    69.   Eric Enders
    Re "Meeting Across the River": I read an interview with John Sayles once (I think in American Cinematographer) where they asked him what work of literature he would like to see his films compared to, and he surprised the interviewer by choosing a song instead: "Meeting Across the River." His comment was something to the effect that although it's a 3-minute song, it really more resembles a short story: It's got well-drawn characters, a specific setting, a dramatic arc, plot development, etc., as well as simply being great to listen to. I've always liked the song, but it's been even more of a favorite since I read that interview.

    Incidentally, Thunder Road may be old and tired in the E Street Concerts, but when he performs it solo it's still magnificent. I had the opportunity to see Bruce in a solo acoustic show in Boston a couple years ago, and the version he did of Thunder Road (solo, with Bruce on piano) literally took my breath away. It was the 17th time I'd heard the song performed in concert, yet in a way, it was also the first. Truly amazing.

    2005-03-30 04:39:29
    70.   CT Bum
    What a great convergence for me...my Bums and Bruce in the same thread!

    I agree with Jon's comments above, but Not Fade Away is the "true" classic paring with She's the One. ;)

    Thunder Road has become quite tiresome (I think the Tunnel Tour was the last time it was consistently vibrant), but on those rare nights where Bruce commits to it, it can still soar.

    Now for an obligatory Dodger comment...Is anyone other than me more than a little worried about Gagne? I'm hoping his knee heals before his mechanics get all funked up.

    2005-03-31 20:48:50
    71.   bill cox
    I started out in life a Dodger fan in the early LA years and have followed them in western New York,Viet Nam,the hippie pilgrimages,Arizona and now in the deep south(I have similarly been a loyal Laker and Bills fan).I don't get changing allegiances.Your team is your team.
    In all those years I've only been to Chavez Ravine for one game in a putrid 1971 season.This year I'll catch several Jacksonville Suns games,a Dodger game in Atlanta and bask in XM radio broadcasts(the last several years I have had internet webcasts)Ah and every spring hope springs eternal!

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